Good farmland is a rare and precious resource, and South Kingstown Land Trust feels a strong obligation to keep our working lands producing benefits to our community, including food, employment, groundwater aquifer protection, and a healthy and beautiful environment. SKLT owns 187 acres of agricultural land on thirteen separate parcels, and has lease agreements on ten of them with local producers on plots ranging from one to sixty-seven acres. SKLT also oversees conservation easements and deeds to development on 375 acres of independent owner-operated farms.
Two of our most exciting agricultural projects include the Hollis Tucker Farm, where a former 30-acre sod farm has been converted into a 20-acre community-supported organic vegetable producer, a 1-acre organic garden producing salsa ingredients, and 2.7 acres of American chestnut research and seed orchards. Also, the 100-acre Weeden Farm, on which SKLT’s field office and conference facility is located, is a center for both farming and habitat conservation as well. Eighty-two acres are farmed for hay, feed corn, and vegetables, while eleven acres are managed as wildlife habitat for ground nesting birds and pollinators, and the remainder is larch plantation, fallow land, and walking trails. During the winter thirty acres of the corn fields are used for goose hunting through an agreement with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
The Rhode Island Agricultural Mediation Program – the official USDA-certified program for our state – offers free, confidential assistance to help resolve agriculture-related issues in a productive environment. The program helps farmers to resolve disputes about contracts, land use, agricultural loans, succession plans, and more. Learn more here.